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Daily Dirt 02/19/2020 15:35:48

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July 22
I-80 Speedway,
Greenwood, NE
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Silver Dollar Nationals) - $53,000
Information provided by: Kevin Kovac (last updated July 24, 9:30 am)
T-Mac outruns charging Sheppard, wins $53,000
Silver Dollar Nationals
  1. Tim McCreadie
  2. Brandon Sheppard
  3. Kyle Bronson
  4. Scott Bloomquist
  5. Shannon Babb
  6. Earl Pearson Jr.
  7. Brian Shirley
  8. Chris Simpson
  9. Hudson O'Neal
  10. Don O'Neal
  11. Darrell Lanigan
  12. Dennis Erb Jr.
  13. Josh Richards
  14. Ben Schaller
  15. Steve Francis
  16. Boom Briggs
  17. Randy Timms
  18. Tad Pospisil
  19. Rodney Sanders
  20. Gregg Satterlee
  21. Jimmy Owens
  22. Corey Zeitner
  23. Chase Junghans
  24. Mike Marlar
  25. Jason Krohn
  26. Kyle Berck
  27. Tony Jackson Jr.
  28. Chad Simpson
  29. Timothy Culp
  30. Billy Moyer
  31. Mason Zeigler
  32. Terry Phillips
  33. Jesse Stovall
presented by
Todd Boyd/photosbyboyd.smugmug.com
Tim McCreadie ran unchallenged most of the way to his $53,000 payday.
What won the race: Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., outran a charging Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., over the final 11 circuits to record a career-high $53,000 victory in Saturday night's wild seventh annual Imperial Tile Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway. T-Mac dominated much of the distance after grabbing the lead from Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., on lap 21 but had to survive a late threat from Sheppard, whose bid to win the race from the 32nd starting spot fell 0.969 of a second short.
On the move: Sheppard came from the 32nd starting spot to finish second.
Winner's sponsors: McCreadie’s Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Pro Power Racing Engine and sponsored by Sweeteners Plus.
Points chase: After I-80: 1. Josh Richards (5,800 points), 2. Scott Bloomquist (5,655), 3. Tim McCreadie (5,635), 4. Don O’Neal (5,275), 5. Earl Pearson Jr. (5,150), 6. Jimmy Owens (5,090), 7. Darrell Lanigan (4,945), 8. Dennis Erb Jr. (4,875), 9. Gregg Satterlee (4,680), 10. Steve Francis (4,600), 11. Hudson O’Neal (4,590), 12. Boom Briggs (4,240).
Car count: 51
Polesitter: Steve Francis
Consolation race winners: Josh Richards, Mike Marlar
Provisional starters: Jimmy Owens, Gregg Satterlee, Jesse Stovall, Randy Timms, Tad Pospisil, Ben Schaller
Next series race: July 25, Macon Speedway (Macon, IL) $12,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
By Kevin Kovac
DirtonDirt.com senior writer

GREENWOOD, Neb. (July 22) — Tim McCreadie appeared to clearly be the class of the field for the majority of Saturday night’s seventh annual Imperial Tile Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway.

But when a caution flag flew on lap 69 of the 80-lap Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned feature and the Watertown, N.Y., driver realized that Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., had reached second place from the 32nd starting spot, doubt about his chances of securing the richest victory of his career crept into his mind.

“When they (officials) announced (over the one-way radio) Sheppard was second I was really worried,” admitted McCreadie, who grabbed the lead on lap 21. “I’m not gonna sit here and say I wasn’t because when a guy starts about about dead last and comes up through the field you’re like, Well, there’s only one reason you do that — it’s because you’re better than everybody.

“I thought, Man, if he gets beside me, I don’t know if I can beat him.”

McCreadie, 43, handled the final race-deciding sprint with aplomb in his Sweeteners Plus-backed Longhorn house car, maintaining a short-but-steady edge of about 1 second over Sheppard to clinch a triumph worth $53,000 — the third-largest winner’s payoff in Dirt Late Model racing this season.

The 24-year-old Sheppard tossed his Rocket Chassis house car around the extreme outside of the half-mile oval in the closing laps, but his bid for an unforgettable come-from-behind win fell short by 0.969 of a second. He settled for his second $20,000 runner-up finish in a major Dirt Late Model event this season, duplicating his performance in the June 10 Dream XXIII at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., finished third in an XR1 Rocket car, picking up two spots over the final 12 circuits to end up on the podium in his first-ever Silver Dollar Nationals start. He ran as high as second after starting 17th.

The top five was completed by a pair of drivers who rallied after making pit stops. Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., pitted for a tire change on lap 22, was nearly lapped by McCreadie before a caution flag flew on lap 38 and pitted again after being involved in a lap-52 restart incident, but he went from ninth on lap 69 to a fourth-place finish. Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., blew a right-rear tire on lap three and pitted again midway through the A-main but gained three spots after the final restart to finish fifth.

McCreadie made an impressive advance of his own, negotiating his way forward from the 15th starting spot with alacrity.

“When we took the green and went into (turn) one, (Billy) Moyer shoved across the track and I went under him and then I went down into three and passed another guy,” McCreadie said. “I was like, ‘Damn, I really cup right around here without any problem.’

“It was a really good driving car. I didn’t think I really had to beat it up to go fast.”

McCreadie cracked the top five by lap six and, as the race’s one-quarter mark approached, found himself in battle for the lead with Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., who had overtaken polesitter Steve Francis of Bowling Green, Ky., for the top spot on lap 12, and Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill. The door to assume command opened for McCreadie on lap 21 when O’Neal and Shirley came together on the backstretch, crunching the right-front nose of O’Neal’s car and allowing to McCreadie speed ahead on the inside.

The race’s middle stages belonged to McCreadie, who cruised away to commanding full straightaway advantages with seemingly little exertion. But when the seventh and final caution flag flew on lap 69 because Gregg Satterlee of Indiana, Pa., slowed with rear suspension damage after hitting the outside wall, McCreadie’s nearly 3-second edge was wiped out and he faced a serious threat from Sheppard, whose fairy-tale run from the back of the pack reached second place on lap 67 when he sailed around the outside of Jacksonville, Fla.’s Earl Pearson Jr. off turn two.

McCreadie had largely been utilizing a line around the middle of the racetrack, but his chief mechanic, Phillip Snellen, alerted him during the caution period to Sheppard’s use of the cushion. T-Mac listened to his right-hand man.

“Phillip is young and he’s a little scared to move me, but tonight, he moved me,” McCreadie said. “That last yellow, he was down in turn one and he just pointed to both ends and went, ‘Up!’ I was like, ‘Man, up?’ So the next lap I came by and drove up by the wall and I’m waving (at Snellen) and he gave me the thumb’s up.

“I was like, ‘Hey, we may get beat, but we’re not gonna get beat because I just putted around and didn’t give it a shot.’ So I went up there (on the restart). I just moved up and drove in as hard as I possibly could and kept it off the skid panel a bit.

“I don’t know if we got away that much or not. I know when we got the white flag I got that signal you love to see … when the sticks are together and they slowly spread apart (indicating a widening lead). I got that, and I’m like, ‘Son of a bitch, we might win this thing.’”

Sheppard had come so far to contend for the victory, but he couldn’t summon enough speed over the final dozen laps to pull off the unthinkable.

“I wasn’t really sure what we were gonna make out of that caution,” said Sheppard, who was up to sixth place by the race’s halfway point. “(McCreadie) got out there a little bit on us right when we went green. I was trying to change my line up a little bit to see where I was gonna pass him, but when that caution came out I think Earl (Pearson) pulled up there and told (McCreadie) where I was running so he kind of got up there (on the outside for the remaining distance) and was taking a little bit of the air off my nose in the middle of the corner and I couldn’t follow the cushion all the way around like I had been doing to pass some of the other cars.”

Sheppard was disappointed that he couldn’t complete his march from the rear, but he still held his head high. He didn’t earn sufficient passing points in Friday night’s double-heat qualifying program despite winning a Round 2 prelim — an opening-lap scramble in his first-round heat knocked him out of action with a busted radiator and fan — and then failed to transfer in a B-main, forcing him to earn his berth in the feature by winning the Belt Bash Non-Qualifiers’ Race.

“We knew if we got in the race that we’d be competitive,” said Sheppard, who turned down the Belt Bash’s $3,000 first prize in favor of the feature’s 32nd starting spot. “We just needed a little bit better luck in them heat races, but, at the end of the day, it says a lot for our team. There’s no quit in any of those guys. We crashed that thing in the first heat and nobody even batted an eye.

“From where we started in the feature and how our weekend started,” he added, “we’ll take how we ended up.”

McCreadie was certainly impressed by Sheppard’s performance.

“The kid’s got big balls, man,” McCreadie said in victory lane. “He started dead-last and gave it a shot.”

McCreadie registered his fourth Lucas Oil Series triumph of 2017 and, while he remained third in the points standings, closed his gap slightly on points leader Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who finished 13th after slowing on lap 57 and pitting with apparent suspension damage sustained in a lap-52 restart scramble as he ran seventh.

“All these young guys are tough to beat, and somebody took a chance on a washed up 43-year-old and so far we’re OK,” McCreadie said with a smile. “It’s amazing, man … $53,000. That’s a lot of money.”

The 27-year-old Bronson, meanwhile, second-guessed his strategy after finishing a fast-closing third.

“Damn, I just wish I wouldn’t have gone so soon there,” said Bronson, who briefly overtook Shirley for second on lap 39 before falling back to fifth soon afterward and only getting back to third on lap 75. “I just overheated my tires there a little bit and I had to slow down and go back and drive through the middle. I got my tires back underneath late, but I didn’t go fast enough there at the end.

“I should’ve went a little quicker and said, ‘The hell with the tires.’ A third-place finish is good for us, though.”

Seven caution flags and one red flag dotted the event.

Cautions flew on lap three for Babb; lap 13 for a turn-two tangle that left Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., spun with rearend damage; lap 22 for Chad Simpson of Mount Vernon, Iowa, slowing; lap 38 for Rodney Sanders of Happy, Texas, stopping in turn two; lap 52 for Don O’Neal slowing; lap 57 for Richards; and lap 69 for Satterlee.

The race’s most serious accident, on lap 52, drew the red flag conditions. Contact between Shirley and Pearson, who restarted side-by-side in second and third, respectively, caused a jam-up throughout the field that resulted in 11th-place Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., getting squeezed between two cars on the inside of turn four and rolling over onto his car’s roof.

Junghans wasn’t injured in the wreck, which also involved Bloomquist, Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., Corey Zeitner of Omaha, Neb., Randy Timms of Wheatland, Okla., and Boom Briggs of Bear Lake, Pa.

Notes: McCreadie recorded his 12th career victory on the Lucas Oil Series and his second on the Lucas Oil MLRA tour, which co-sanctioned the event. … McCreadie's previous richest victory was his $50,000 score in the 2013 USA Nationals at Cedar Lake Speedwy in New Richmond, Wis. ... Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., briefly slid past Pearson for third place on lap 73, but the 16-year-old sensation faltered in the closing circuits and settled for a ninth-place finish. … Hudson’s father, Don, salvaged a 10th-place finish after his crew pounded out the nosepiece damage his car sustained in the lap-21 tangle with Shirley. He initially appeared to blame McCreadie for the contact before realizing it was Shirley with whom he had gotten together. “Don pulled up next to me (under caution on lap 22) and was waving his arms and I was like, ‘Dude, that’s not me. It’s definitely not me,’” McCreadie said. “He’s like the rest of us — when you feel like things don’t go your way, you get fired up.” … Early leader Steve Francis was running fifth on lap 52 when the restart jam-up left his car with suspension damage that caused him to fade before pitting on lap 69 and finishing 15th.

Imperial Tile Silver Dollar Nationals

Pos., Driver (car no.), hometown, earnings
1. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., Longhorn, $53,000
2. Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., Rocket, $20,000
3. Kyle Bronson (40b), Brandon, Fla., Rocket, $10,000
4. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., Sweet-Bloomquist, $7,000
5. Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., Rocket, $6,000
6. Earl Pearson Jr. (1P), Jacksonville, Fla., Longhorn, $5,000
7. Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., Rocket, $4,600
8. Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, Longhorn, $4,400
9. Hudson O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., Club 29, $4,200
10. Don O’Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind., Club 29, $4,000
11. Darrell Lanigan (14), Union, Ky., Club 29, $3,800
12. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., Black Diamond, $3,600
13. Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va., Rocket, $3,400
14. Ben Schaller (98), Omaha, Neb., Missile, $3,200
15. Steve Francis (15), Bowling Green, Ky., Capital, $3,000
16. Boom Briggs (99b), Bear Lake, Pa., Longhorn, $1,100
17. Randy Timms (5T), Wheatland, Okla., Black Diamond, $2,600
18. Tad Pospisil (04), Norfolk, Neb., Black Diamond, $2,400
19. Rodney Sanders (20), Happy, Texas, MB Customs, $2,200
20. Gregg Satterlee (22), Indiana, Pa., Rocket, $2,000
21. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., Rocket, $1,950
22. Corey Zeitner (26Jr), Omaha, Neb., Black Diamond, $1,900
23. Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., Rocket, $1,850
24. Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., Rocket, $1,825
25. Jason Krohn (7K), Slayton, Minn., MB Customs, $1,800
26. Kyle Berck (14), Marquette, Neb., Missile, $1,800
27. Tony Jackson Jr. (56), Lebanon, Mo., Club 29, $1,775
28. Chad Simpson (25), Mount Vernon, Iowa, Black Diamond, $1,750
29. Timothy Culp (c8), Prattsville, Ark., Rocket, $1,725
30. Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., Moyer Victory, $1,700
31. Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., Rocket, $1,700
32. Terry Phillips (75), Springfield, Mo., Black Diamond, $1,700
33. Jesse Stovall (75s), Billings, Mo., Black Diamond, $1,700
Non-Qualifers’ Race winner: Brandon Sheppard
Heat race winners (among 51 cars): Chad Simpson, Don O'Neal, Francis, Lanigan, Erb, Shirley, McCreadie, Bloomquist, Sanders, Sheppard
Consolation race winners: Richards, Marlar
Provisional starters: Owens, Satterlee, Briggs, Stovall, Timms, Pospisil, Schaller
Lap leaders: Francis (1-11); D. O’Neal (12-20); McCreadie (21-80)

Preliminary results and notes:

Feature updates

Lap 80: McCreadie keeps Sheppard at bay over final circuits, winning by 0.969 of a second over the 32nd-place starter. Bronson comes back on for third, Bloomquist finishes fourth after pitting twice and Babb places fifth after coming from rear due to flat early in race.

Lap 69: Caution for Gregg Satterlee stopping in turn two, wiping out McCreadie's 2.9-second lead over a charging Sheppard. Pearson sits third, followed by Hudson O'Neal, Shirley, Don O'Neal, Babb, Bloomquist, Chris Simpson and Erb.

Lap 67: McCreadie straightaway on Sheppard, who shot by Pearson for second off turn two ... Hudson O'Neal right behind Pearson in fourth.

Lap 61: McCreadie easily pulling away from Pearson ... Sheppard passes Shirley for third ... Don O'Neal suddenly back up to sixth racing with his son Hudson.

Lap 57: Caution for Richards slowing on backstretch ... Sheppard was battling Bronson for fourth, with Hudson O'Neal and Chris Simpson up to sixth and seventh, respectively. McCreadie leads Pearson, Shirley, Bronson, Sheppard, Hudson O'Neal, Chris Simpson, Satterlee, Francis, Don O'Neal, Babb, Sanders, Bloomquist, Lanigan ...

Lap 52: Red flag comes out on restart ... a scramble at the front of the pack coming to restart caused a chain-reaction jam-up that ended with Chase Junghans rolling onto his roof on the inside of turn four. He emerged uninjured from the wreck, which also swept up Erb, Bloomquist, Zeitner, Briggs and Timms.

Lap 52: Don O'Neal slows on backstretch to bring out caution; he pits along with teammate Lanigan. McCreadie leads Shirley, Pearson, Bronson, Francis, Sheppard, Richards, Hudson O'Neal, Erb, Satterlee, Junghans, Chris Simpson and Bloomquist ...

Lap 50: McCreadie leads Shirley by 2.6 seconds ... Pearson third, followed by Bronson, Francis, Sheppard, Richards, Hudson O'Neal, Erb and Satterlee.

Lap 42: With McCreadie easily pulling away from field, Shirley moves back by Bronson for second ... Sheppard sits in sixth.

Lap 40: Sheppard takes second with slider on Shirley through one and two ...

Lap 38: Owens stops in turn two to bring out a caution, erasing McCreadie's straightaway lead (and as he was about to lap Bloomquist). Shirley sits second, followed by Bronson, Pearson, Francis, Junghans, Sheppard, Erb, Richards and Hudson O'Neal ... Don O'Neal pitted during caution for work on his nose and Marlar went pisdie as well; both returned. Owens was towed off the track.

Lap 37: Bronson third by Pearson ...

Lap 30: With McCreadie leading Shirley and Pearson by straightaway, Sheppard is running outside and is up to eighth.

Lap 25: Bronson coming alive, vaults up to fourth.

Lap 22: Caution for Chad Simpson slowing ... McCreadie leads Pearson, Shirley, O'Neal, Francis, Langian, Junghans, Richards, Bronson, Hudson O'Neal; Bloomquist at rear of field after pitting.

Lap 21: McCreadie takes lead after scramble on backstretch between T-Mac, Don O'Neal and Shirley leaves O'Neal with right-front nose damage ... O'Neal and Shirley banged together on backstretch, sending O'Neal sideways and McCreadie surging into the lead on the inside.

Lap 19: McCreadie side-by-side for second inside of Shirley ...

Lap 13: Caution flies for Billy Moyer's turn-two spin; Don O'Neal leads Francis, Shirley, McCreadie, Pearson, Bloomquist, Lanigan, Erb, Junghans and Hudson O'Neal.

Lap 12: Don O'Neal slides hard underneath Francis through three and four to take lead ....

Lap 6: Francis, Don O'Neal and Shirley close for lead ... McCreadie already up to fourth from 15th.

Lap 3: First caution for Shannon Babb, who slowed on the backstretch while running ninth. Francis leads Shirley, Don O'Neal, Lanigan, Pearson, Bloomquist, Chad Simpson, McCreadie, Junghans and Erb; Babb returned at the rear after changing a tire.

Lap 1: Francis nips Shirley to lead first circuit ...

10:07 p.m.: Green flag flies ...

Pre-feature notes

After Iowa’s Ryan Gustin — a driver familiar to Dirt Late Model fans — scored a $10,000 win in the USMTS modified feature, the 33-car field for the 80-lap Silver Dollar Nationals feature began rolling onto the racetrack just before 10 p.m. …Seven drivers are using provisional spots to start the A-main. Lucas Oil Series spots went to Jimmy Owens, Gregg Satterlee and Boom Briggs (emergency); Jesse Stovall and Randy Timms received the MLRA positions; and Tad Pospisil and Ben Schaller picked up the I-80 provisionals. … Four Nebraska drivers are in the starting field of their home state’s biggest event: Corey Zeitner, Pospisil, Schaller and Berck. … John Duty maintained a sense of humor after rolling his car between turns three and four during the Belt Bash Non-Qualifiers’ Race. “I wanted a new car anyhow,” the Oregonian said after emerging uninjured, “so I guess now we’re gonna buy a new car.”

Feature lineup

Row 1: Steve Francis, Don O’Neal
Row 2: Brian Shirley, Scott Bloomquist
Row 3: Earl Pearson Jr., Darrell Lanigan
Row 4: Chad Simpson, Chase Junghans
Row 5: Shannon Babb, Jason Krohn
Row 6: Rodney Sanders, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 7: Billy Moyer, Hudson O’Neal
Row 8: Tim McCreadie, Tony Jackson Jr.
Row 9: Kyle Bronson, Mason Zeigler
Row 10: Josh Richards, Mike Marlar
Row 11: Corey Zeitner, Chris Simpson
Row 12: Timothy Culp, Terry Phillips
Row 13: Jimmy Owens, Gregg Satterlee
Row 14: Boom Briggs, Jesse Stovall
Row 15: Randy Timms, Tad Pospisil
Row 16: Ben Schaller, Brandon Sheppard
Row 17: Kyle Berck

Belt Bash

Brandon Sheppard overtook Jake O’Neil for the lead on lap six and never looked back en route to winning the 20-lap Belt Bash Non-Qualifiers’ Race.

Jimmy Mars finished second, 2.079 seconds behind Sheppard. Home-state standout Kyle Berck placed third.

The top three spots offered prizes of $3,000, $2,000 and $1,500, respectively, but only Mars took the Belt Bash money rather than relinquish the cash to start at the rear of the feature field. While Sheppard and Berck moved on to the A-main, Mars grabbed the 2-grand because his car’s engine severely overheated toward the end of the event.

The race was red-flagged on lap eight when Oregon’s John Duty rolled his car between turns three and four. He wasn’t injured.

Duty’s son, Justin, ran into trouble on his own on lap 14, hitting the wall between turns one and two to bring out a caution while running in fourth place.

A caution flag flew on the lap-eight restart when Clay Daly and J.C. Wyman came together on the backstretch, leaving Wyman’s car disabled in turn three. Wyman expressed his displeasure with Daly as the Californian passed by under caution.

Finish (20 laps): Brandon Sheppard, Jimmy Mars, Kyle Berck, Dave Eckrich, Matt Buller, Jake O’Neil, Clay Daly, Austin Siebert, Allan Hopp, Brian Kosiski, Mike Stadel, Bob King, Justin Duty, Al Humphrey, J.C. Wyman, John Duty.

Belt Bash Non-Qualifiers’ Race lineup

Row 1: Clay Daly, Jake O’Neil
Row 2: Brandon Sheppard, Justin Duty
Row 3: Jimmy Mars, Bill Leighton Jr.
Row 4: J.C. Wyman, Jeremy Grady
Row 5: Kyle Berck, Matt Buller
Row 6: Al Humphrey, Brian Kosiski
Row 7: Austin Siebert, Bob King
Row 8: Dave Eckrich, Mike Stadel
Row 9: Joey Moriarty, Allan Hopp
Row 10: John Duty

Second B-Main

Mike Marlar cruised to a flag-to-flag victory, racing unchallenged for the entire caution-free distance. Chris Simpson finished 3.789 seconds behind in second place and Terry Phillips was third. Californian Clay Daly missed transferring by one spot, while heavy hitters Brandon Sheppard, Jimmy Mars and Jimmy Owens finished in positions 5-7.

Finish (15 laps; top 3 transfer): Mike Marlar, Chris Simpson, Terry Phillips, Clay Daly, Brandon Sheppard, Jimmy Mars, Jimmy Owens, Randy Timms, Kyle Berck, Al Humphrey, Austin Siebert, Boom Briggs, Mike Stadel, Allan Hopp, John Duty.

First B-main

Josh Richards ran away with the race, leading all the way and taking the checkered flag a straightaway ahead of runner-up Corey Zeitner. Timothy Culp held off Gregg Satterlee to grab the third and final transfer spot. The race’s lone caution flag flew on lap one after a turn-four tangle swept up Joey Moriarty and Jeremy Grady.

Finish (15 laps; top 3 transfer): Josh Richards, Corey Zeitner, Timothy Culp, Gregg Satterlee, Jake O’Neil, Justin Duty, Bill Leighton Jr., J.C. Wyman, Jeremy Grady, Matt Buller, Brian Kosiski, Bob King, Dave Eckrich, Joey Moriarty.

Pre-race notes

While the Omaha, Neb., area has by no means fallen into a deep freeze, Saturday’s conditions are certainly more bearable than Friday when the heat index approached 110 degrees. Temperatures have “only” reached the low 90s this afternoon and cloud cover has provided a respite from the broiling sun. … Officials adjusted the evening’s schedule of events slightly to quicken the program’s pace, dropping a driver autograph session before the feature and dispensing with out-of-car driver introductions. With both on the schedule last year, the 80-lap A-Main didn’t take the green flag until 11:48 p.m. … One year after starting the Silver Dollar Nationals finale from the outside pole, Chris Simpson of Oxford, Iowa, starts fourth in the second B-main. He said he didn’t sufficiently tighten up his car — the older Longhorn machine in his stable after he decided not to enter the brand-new mount he hot-lapped on Thursday night — for Friday evening’s second-round heat race and thus struggled to move forward. … Included among the 18 drivers who transferred to the feature thanks to their passing-points accumulation on Friday night are three first-time SDN feature starters: Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., and Mason Zeigler of Chalk Hill, Pa. … Three previous winners of the Silver Dollar Nationals are competing this weekend: Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn. (2014 and ’15), Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind. (’11) and Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn. (’13), who was the only racer of the trio who didn't lock into the feature on Friday night (he dropped out of his Round 2 heat after fuel began hitting him in the helmet shield). The two other past champions, Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa (’12) and Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga. (’16), aren’t on hand. …

Pre-race setup

I-80 Speedway’s seventh annual Imperial Tile Silver Dollar Nationals weekend concludes Saturday with consolation races and the 80-lap, $53,000-to-win main event for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association. United States Modified Touring Series competitors are also in action completing a two-day, $10,000-to-win program.

Friday night’s racing program included 10 total races for the 51 Late Model competitors. No time trials were contested for Late Models; lineups for the two rounds of heats were set by draws, and combined passing points from the prelims determined the 18 transfers to Saturday night’s 80-lap finale.

Steve Francis of Bowling Green, Ky., is scheduled to start on the pole of Saturday’s main event with Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., alongside. The two drivers earned the most passing points in Friday’s heats; both Francis and O’Neal won Round 1 prelims and finished second in Round 2 events.

Lucas Oil Series points leader Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., and Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., start on the pole of Saturday night’s pair of 15-lap B-Mains, which will transfer three additional drivers from each to the A-Main.

Saturday’s card, which also includes the $3,000-to-win Belt Bash for Late Model non-qualifiers that provides its top three finishers the option of taking the purse money or a starting spot in the A-main, is scheduled to get underway with hot laps at 7 p.m. CDT.

B-main lineups

(15 laps; top 3 transfer)
Row 1: Josh Richards, Timothy Culp
Row 2: Gregg Satterlee, Corey Zeitner
Row 3: Tad Pospisil, Jake O’Neil
Row 4: Ben Schaller, Joey Moriarty
Row 5: Jesse Stovall, Dave Eckrich
Row 6: Justin Duty, Jeremy Grady
Row 7: Bob King, J.C. Wyman
Row 8: Matt Buller, Brian  Kosiski
Row 9: Bill Leighton Jr.
Second B-main
Row 1: Terry Phillips, Mike Marlar
Row 2: Clay Daly, Chris Simpson
Row 3: Brandon Sheppard, Jimmy Mars
Row 4: Jimmy Owens, Kyle Berck
Row 5: Randy Timms, Al Humphrey
Row 6: Brantlee Gotschall, Austin Siebert
Row 7: Mike Stadel, Boom Briggs
Row 8: Allan Hopp, John Duty

Schedule of events

6:15 p.m.: Modified drivers’ meeting
6:30 p.m.: Late Model drivers’ meeting
7 p.m.: Late Model/Modified B-main hot laps
7:30 p.m.: Opening ceremonies
- Late Model B-mains (15 laps)
- Late Model feature qualifier hot laps
- Modified B-mains (15 laps)
- Modified feature qualifier hot laps
- “Belt Bash” Al Belt Custom Homes Non-Qualifiers Race (18-20 laps)
- “Belt Bash” trophy presentation (top 3)
- USMTS modified feature (40 laps)
- Silver Dollar Nationals Late Model 10-minute staging call/track prep if needed
- Silver Dollar Nationals feature (80 laps)

Feature lineup

Row 1: Francis, D. O’Neal
Row 2: Shirley, Bloomquist
Row 3: Pearson, Lanigan
Row 4: Chad Simpson, Junghans
Row 5: Babb, Krohn
Row 6: Sanders, Erb
Row 7: Moyer, H. O’Neal
Row 8: McCreadie, Jackson
Row 9: Bronson, Zeigler
Row 10: Richards, Marlar
Row 11: Zeitner, Chris Simpson
Row 12: Culp, Phillips
Row 13: Owens, Satterlee
Row 14: Briggs, Stovall
Row 15: Timms, Pospisil
Row 16: Schaller, Sheppard
Row 17: Berck
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